Interplay Between Antitrust and Criminal Law in Europe

By on June 24, 2011

by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza

In Europe, the interplay between antitrust and criminal law at the national level may vary significantly by jurisdiction. Some European Union member states, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Romania, have criminalized competition law. Other jurisdictions, such as Germany and Italy, do not envisage criminal penalties for anticompetitive practices; however, such conduct may sometimes qualify as a separate criminal offense.  The following cases, across Europe, show that there appears to be a general trend towards more effective enforcement against serious antitrust violations – including by means of criminal penalties against individuals – and not only in the countries with criminal competition laws.

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